During January and February this year the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT), with the help of Natural England have, on Winfrith Heath and Tadnoll Nature Reserve, systematically cut down a good mile stretch of mainly birch trees bordering the water meadow and, in another part of the reserve, taken out another bank of, again, mainly birch trees.

According to a notice posted at the entrance to the reserve, this work has been "requested and funded by Natural England to improve and extend the existing heathland and mire areas". I find it hard to believe that the DWT are not aware, from the results of similar activities in previous years, that all that will grow in the areas laid waste to is grass. All these recent activities are likely to achieve is a reduction in valuable habitat for the diminishing numbers of flora and fauna that live on the reserve.

I do feel that if the DWT had to go back to the old method of cutting down trees with a hand-held saw, they would think twice about felling such huge numbers of trees. I watched with horror as a tracked vehicle equipped with a mechanised grabber took hold of a birch tree half way up its trunk and cut it in half in the same way a pair of secateurs would cut through a twig. What hope has our natural habitat got when subjected to this sort of activity?

As a member of the DWT and a taxpayer I do wonder what the justification is for cutting down such a large number of indigenous trees.

Jane Pearson

Knoll Park

Gatemore Road